Drifting Apart: International Institutions in Crisis and the Management of Dissociation Processes

Brexit, US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement under President Donald Trump and the demise of security cooperation between Russia and the West are reminders that international cooperation is fragile. This lies at the vore of the recent "crisis of the liberal order". States dissociate themselves from international institutions – either by formally withdrawing their membership, by ignoring their commitments or by creating alternative institutions.

Often when states drift away from international institutions, considerable tensions result between these states and those that want to maintain the institution. These tensions can cast a permanent shadow over their relations and lead to permanent patterns of competition and hostility. Thus dissociation from international institutions can have a significant impact on peace and security. But, so far, research has ignored these consequences and instead focused mainly on the causes of institutional crises and on the consequences of these crises for the institutions themselves rather than for interstate relations more broadly conceived.

The project Drifting Apart explores the tensions between states that result from dissociation processes. It examines how five different dissociation processes unfolded and seeks to identify the factors that created, reinforced or mitigated tensions between the states in question.

The interdisciplinary project was developed under PRIF's lead in the Leibniz Research Alliance "Crises in a Globalised World". It brings together four member institutions of the Leibniz Association. Besides PRIF, these are: GIGA - German Institute of Global and Area Studies (Hamburg), the Institute of Contemporrary History (IfZ, Munich) and the Center for Contemporary History (ZZF, Potsdam). They examine five historical and current cases of dissociation:

  • the demise of security cooperation between Russia and the West since 2000
  • Brexit, the UK's withdrawal from EU membership
  • the creation of alternative institutions for international financial cooperation by the BRICS
  • the break-up of the Warsaw Treaty Organization
  • and the dissociation of Iran from cooperation with the West since the late 1970s

The project will run for three years and receives funding from the Leibniz Association's program 'Leibniz Competition'. It starts on 1 April 2019.

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Drifting Apart: Examining the Consequences of States' Dissociation from International Cooperation - A Framework | 2022

Dembinski, Matthias/Peters, Dirk (2022): Drifting Apart: Examining the Consequences of States' Dissociation from International Cooperation - A Framework, in: Historical Social Research, 47:2, 7–32, DOI: 10.12759/hsr.47.2022.14.

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Brexit: The Perils of Dissociation by Negotiation | 2022

Peters, Dirk (2022): Brexit: The Perils of Dissociation by Negotiation, in: Historical Social Research, 47:2, 138–163, DOI: 10.12759/hsr.47.2022.19.

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The Perils of Ruxit: Russia's Tension-Ridden Dissociation from the European Security Order | 2022

Polianskii, Mikhail (2022): The Perils of Ruxit: Russia's Tension-Ridden Dissociation from the European Security Order, in: Historical Social Research, 47:2, 77–108, DOI: 10.12759/hsr.47.2022.17.

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The Perils of Ruxit: Russia’s Tension-Ridden Dissociation from the European Security Order | 2022

Polianskii, Mikhail (2022): The Perils of Ruxit: Russia’s Tension-Ridden Dissociation from the European Security Order, PRIF Blog, 21.10.2022.

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Von Gorbatschow zu Putin. Der gescheiterte Versuch, der Geschichte zu entkommen | 2022

Polianskii, Mikhail (2022): Von Gorbatschow zu Putin. Der gescheiterte Versuch, der Geschichte zu entkommen, in: Netzwerk Friedenskooperative, www.friedenskooperative.de/(...).

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Russia’s Dissociation from the Paris Charter-Based Order | 2021

Polianskii, Mikhail (2021): Russia’s Dissociation from the Paris Charter-Based Order, in: Russia in Global Affairs, 76:4, 36–58, www.eng.globalaffairs.ru/(...).

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Russia and the West: Causes of Tensions and Strategies for their Mitigation | 2021

Dembinski, Matthias/Polianskii, Mikhail (2021): Russia and the West: Causes of Tensions and Strategies for their Mitigation, in: Russia and the Contemporary World, 110:1, 5-20, http://rossovmir.ru/files/1104.pdf.

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Der Fall Nawalny und die westliche Reaktion – keine Auswege aus der Destruktionsspirale? | 2020

Dembinski, Matthias/Polianskii, Mikhail (2020): Der Fall Nawalny und die westliche Reaktion – keine Auswege aus der Destruktionsspirale?, PRIF Blog, 11.9.2020.

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Russland und der Westen | 2020

Dembinski, Matthias/Polianskii, Mikhail (2020): Russland und der Westen. Von der spannungsgeladenen Trennung zur Koexistenz?, PRIF Report 2/2020, Frankfurt/M.

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Dissoziation als Friedensstrategie? | 2019

Dembinski, Matthias/Peters, Dirk (2019): Dissoziation als Friedensstrategie? Konturen eines Forschungsprogramms, in: Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, 26:2, 89–105, DOI: 10.5771/0946-7165-2019-2-88.

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Nach vorn, um nicht zurückzufallen | 2018

Deitelhoff, Nicole/Dembinski, Matthias/Peters, Dirk (2018): Nach vorn, um nicht zurückzufallen. Deutsch-französische Initiativen zur Zukunft der EU-Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, PRIF Spotlight 6/2018, Frankfurt/M.

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Partners

German Institute of Global and Area Studies Hamburg (GIGA)
German Institute of Global and Area Studies Hamburg (GIGA)
www.giga-hamburg.de
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZFF)
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZFF)
https://zzf-potsdam.de/en
Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ)
Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ)
https://www.ifz-muenchen.de/en/

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